Coronial findings into level crossing fatalities released

Today the Victorian Coroner has released the findings into the 2007 Kerang rail disaster and other level crossing fatalities.  SafetyAtWorkBlog has written about issues related to level crossings those articles may help when reading the many media articles that the inquest findings will generate.

Already family members of the Kerang victims have expressed their dissatisfaction with the findings.

From the perspective of the safety profession and what level crossing incidents can say about safe design, human factors and transport risks, one of the most useful analyses was undertaken by Dr Eric Wigglesworth AM and presented to the Victorian Parliament in 2007.  His submission raised several recommendations that are important to note in the coming days.

  • The Victorian Government should create a Victoria Level Crossing Research Council
  • Wigglesworth questioned the continuing value of a klaxon on the trains and recommended a more effective acoustic beam directed at oncoming road vehicles.
  • A comprehensive national data set be established, and
  • legislative protection be provided for innovators in this area.

The Victorian Government has commenced a program to eliminate many of level crossings.  Some of these are expensive and complex construction projects, such as the Springvale Road Nunawading station redevelopment and the current project for Springvale Road, Springvale.  Details of the Government’s plan for level crossings is available through the Parliamentary website.

Kevin Jones

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